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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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Next Level Seniors: Sydney Spotts’ Love for the Game Continues as she Commits to Play Soccer for Portland State University

Jasmine McIntosh
Looking ahead to college soccer, senior Sydney Spotts is excited to see how she will keep up with and thrive in the competitive environment.

Starting at the young age of six, senior Sydney Spotts’ passion for soccer bloomed, and hasn’t stopped growing since. Not only has she played at an extremely competitive level, but throughout her soccer career she has stuck to the mindset of always having fun while competing, which has allowed her love for the game to flourish. 

“I think that’s [why] I’ve been playing so long is that I still have so much fun when I play,” Spotts said. “I don’t think I would have as much love for it if I wasn’t reminded [that] you don’t need to do something if you’re not having fun.” 

Ever since starting soccer, Spotts developed a love for the sport and throughout her journey it has not stopped. “I always had a passion for it, and it was just something that I always enjoyed and always could get really competitive in,” she said. 

Spotts has decided to continue this love for soccer for four more years as a Portland State University commit, and in doing so she joins The Falconer’s Next Level Senior series, which showcases the select group of seniors who have committed to playing a sport at the collegiate level.

She was originally recruited by Portland State through an ID camp — a camp for athletes who want a highly competitive environment and collegiate exposure. The interest was returned by Spotts as she had heard good things about the program through her high school coach Andy Frazier, whose daughters were sophomores playing for Portland State at the time. 

After her official visit, Spotts could tell that it would be a good fit for her.

“I did like the Portland State coach and also just seeing the team and knowing some of the players already on Portland State I knew it was gonna be a good fit,” she said. “Just walking on campus I was like ‘yeah I could totally see myself [here].’”

Spotts’ options were not limited to Portland State. She also received offers from Dartmouth College, Western Oregon University, Regis University, and others. 

Looking ahead to college, Spotts is excited for the community aspect the team will bring her. 

Through her club team, Portland Thorns Academy, she has done numerous training sessions with collegiate athletes, and through those trainings she realized that although their speed of play and physicality was different, “it felt achievable to keep up with,” she said.

Spotts has been a part of Portland Thorns Academy for six years, including playing up an age group her first year in order to play on the club, as they didn’t have her age group yet. Spotts described the making of the team as a collection of the top players in the state coming together to form a singular team. 

Through her club team Spotts has found a family. She constantly looks up to each teammate as they are always keeping the environment competitive, and has a deep appreciation for the relationships she’s formed over the past six years.

“I’ve never been on a team that has such great chemistry and I’m going to look for that in any team I play for now,” she said.

Looking ahead to college soccer, senior Sydney Spotts is excited to see how she will keep up with and thrive in the competitive environment.

Her first year on Thorns Academy, she struggled with confidence as she was playing on an older team and didn’t get much playing time. She has since learned that she needs to focus on herself and her growth rather than comparing herself to others which has helped her overcome this struggle.

Growing up, Sports and her teammates on Thorns Academy played against each other before joining the same team, so therefore she has known a lot of her teammates for over nine years. Now they will be parting ways to pursue collegiate athletics. “It’s really sad because now we’re all going to different parts of the country,” she said. 

Prior to soccer, Spotts attempted many other sports, although none stuck. Some she tried included dance, basketball, and softball. “I quit my first tee ball game because someone stole the ball out of my hand after I let go a grounder,” she said. 

For Spotts, the idea of playing collegiate soccer originated when she was young. Her dad and coaches always told her to keep pushing because she showed the potential and ability to play in college.

Although Spotts doesn’t think that the transition from club to college soccer will be much of a difference because of the intensity of her club team, she does think there will be a difference from high school, as in high school there is a wider variety of talent compared to club and college. 

Being a freshman on varsity her freshman year was hard because of COVID and the fact she was one of the only freshmen on varsity. Although it may have been a little challenging her first year, being a part of the soccer team and the community really showed Spotts that La Salle was the right choice and fit for her.

Her final year playing for La Salle will be one she remembers, as the team chemistry was the best compared to her previous three years. On and off the field everyone enjoyed each other’s company. “When we were playing it felt like we were all sisters,” she said. 

Along with the teammates on her high school team, she also found a home at La Salle thanks to Coach Andy. A quote he would always say is “it’s better to be prepared than to get prepared,” Spotts said. As a result of this, she now finds herself going on multiple-mile runs before and after practice, when prior to having him as a coach she would rarely go on runs.

Despite the La Salle soccer team bringing her such a strong community, at times the educational aspect of La Salle would pose some late nights for Spotts. 

Getting home at 11:30 every night makes it hard for Spotts to keep up with her school work, along with the fact that she has long drives to and from soccer, and she is constantly traveling to other states. Looking ahead to college though, Spotts believes that these long nights will give her an advantage. 

“It’s good to learn that chaos, so when I hit college everyone else who was not in that same situation will have a harder time and I think I will have an easier time,” she said. 

Although Spotts is undeclared going into college, she is very interested in business and entrepreneurship and hopes to pursue something related to that.

Looking back on her journey through the sport, Spotts came away with many lessons but one that really resonated with her was, “if you want to go and keep improving you can’t compare yourself to other people,” she said. “Comparing yourself to other people is not going to get you anywhere; your biggest competitor is yourself.”

Although four years is a while away and Spotts doesn’t know if she wants to play after college, she said “if I ever got the opportunity to, I would love to because soccer is so fun.”

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